'Watership Down' housing plan at Sandleford approved

image captionOpponents to the development of Sandleford Park attended the meeting

A piece of countryside that inspired the book Watership Down is to have 2,000 homes built on it, councillors have decided.

Earlier, councillors voted 33 to 12 in favour of building on Sandleford Park.

Peta Stoddart-Crompton, of West Berkshire Council, said the plans were put through with no amendments after they were discussed "at great length".

In Richard Adams's book, Sandleford was the site of the original rabbit warren that was destroyed by developers.

The authority wants to use the land for some of the 10,500 houses it has been told to build by the government.

Mr Adams, 90, who was born and raised in Wash Common village, which backs on to land surrounding Sandleford Park, had said he would oppose the plans "tooth and nail".

The council made provisions to accommodate dozens of extra people expected to attend the meeting.

Up to 30 people from the Say No To Sandleford campaign group attended the council meeting on Tuesday night.

Campaign spokesman Peter Norman said the group handed a petition with almost 1,000 signatures, to the council ahead of the meeting.

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